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Zhou S.-F.,Fudan University | Sun L.,Fudan University | Valdes A.E.,Uppsala University | Valdes A.E.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | And 5 more authors.
New Phytologist | Year: 2015

Abscisic acid plays important roles in maintaining seed dormancy while gibberellins (GA) and other phytohormones antagonize ABA to promote germination. However, how ABA signaling is desensitized during the transition from dormancy to germination is still poorly understood. We functionally characterized the role of membrane-associated transcription factor peptidase, site-2 protease (S2P), in ABA signaling during seed germination in Arabidopsis. Genetic analysis showed that loss-of-function of S2P conferred high ABA sensitivity during seed germination, and expression of the activated form of membrane-associated transcription factor bZIP17, in which the transmembrane domain and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen-facing C-terminus were deleted, in the S2P mutant rescued its ABA-sensitive phenotype. MYC and green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged bZIP17 were processed and translocated from the ER to the nucleus in response to ABA treatment. Furthermore, genes encoding negative regulators of ABA signaling, such as the transcription factor ATHB7 and its target genes HAB1, HAB2, HAI1 and AHG3, were up-regulated in seeds of the wild-type upon ABA treatment; this up-regulation was impaired in seeds of S2P mutants. Our results suggest that S2P desensitizes ABA signaling during seed germination through regulating the activation of the membrane-associated transcription factor bZIP17 and therefore controlling the expression level of genes encoding negative regulators of ABA signaling. © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

Fridborg I.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | Johansson A.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | Lagensjo J.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | Leelarasamee N.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2013

ML (MD2-related lipid recognition) proteins are known to enhance innate immune responses in mammals. This study reports the analysis of the putative ML gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana and suggests a role for the ML3 gene in herbivory-associated responses in plants. Feeding by larvae of the Lepidopteran generalist herbivore Spodoptera littoralis and larvae of the specialist herbivore Plutella xylostella activated ML3 transcription in leaf tissues. ML3 loss-of-function Arabidopsis plants were compromised in the upregulation of herbivory-induced genes and displayed a semi-dwarf phenotype. Herbivory bioassays showed that larvae of S. littoralis fed on ml3 mutant plants gained more weight compared to larvae fed on wild-type plants while larvae of P. xylostella did not show any significant difference. Virus-induced gene silencing of ML3 expression in plants compromised in jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) signalling revealed a complex role of ML3 in JA/defence signalling affecting both JA- and SA-dependent responses. The data suggest that ML3 is involved in herbivory-mediated responses in Arabidopsis and that it has a potential role in herbivory-associated molecular pattern recognition. © 2013 The Author(s).

Valdes A.E.,Uppsala University | Valdes A.E.,Linnean Center for Plant Biology | Overnas E.,Uppsala University | Johansson H.,Uppsala University | And 3 more authors.
Plant Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Plants perceiving drought activate multiple responses to improve survival, including large-scale alterations in gene expression. This article reports on the roles in the drought response of two Arabidopsis thaliana homeodomain-leucine zipper class I genes; ATHB7 and ATHB12, both strongly induced by water-deficit and abscisic acid (ABA). ABA-mediated transcriptional regulation of both genes is shown to depend on the activity of protein phosphatases type 2C (PP2C). ATHB7 and ATHB12 are, thus, targets of the ABA signalling mechanism defined by the PP2Cs and the PYR/PYL family of ABA receptors, with which the PP2C proteins interact. Our results from chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression analyses demonstrate that ATHB7 and ATHB12 act as positive transcriptional regulators of PP2C genes, and thereby as negative regulators of abscisic acid signalling. In support of this notion, our results also show that ATHB7 and ATHB12 act to repress the transcription of genes encoding the ABA receptors PYL5 and PYL8 in response to an ABA stimulus. In summary, we demonstrate that ATHB7 and ATHB12 have essential functions in the primary response to drought, as mediators of a negative feedback effect on ABA signalling in the plant response to water deficit. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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